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Avoid Being Scammed By Always Doing This Before Using ATMs

ATMs are a part of everyday life, but there is a growing threat to ATM users that you need to know about. Before inserting your card (required for any transaction), you need to make sure you check for a "skimmer" device used by crooks to steal your banking information. Once they have that, they can use it to drain your accounts with minimal effort. Thanks to the advent of 3D-printing technology, skimmers are even easier and cheaper to make than ever before. 

What's a skimmer?

Skimmers are electronic devices that can replace or be placed on top of an existing ATM card scanner. Crooks often insert a small camera or pin pad overlay to steal your PIN in a jiffy. The cost of these devices can be anywhere from $8,000 - $12,000, and have been used to net thieves hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

How to spot a skimmer:

The best way to check for a skimmer is to give a little tug to the card reader. If it jiggles or feels loose in any way, avoid using that machine and alert the bank right away. The photo below shows just how cleverly disguised these skimmers can be.

How to protect yourself:

  1. Give the card reader a tug - if it feels loose, don't use it.
  2. Always cover the pad up with your hand while entering your PIN.
  3. It's best to use ATMs that are well-lit. Crooks tend to favor darkness to install and remove the skimmers.
  4. If you've got any suspicions at all, trust your instincts and use an ATM at another location.

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H/T: Tip Hero

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